tagTranssexuals & CrossdressersScared Band: More than Friends

Scared Band: More than Friends

byFinalStand©

(Thank you Treborrobbo for editing my story)

*

*Fire lights our Nights; Fire in the Soul ignites our Lives*

(In the story one main character will change how they think of another, alternating from he, she, or even it. This is due to their perspective changing.)

(The 167th aka The Sacred Band, is a mythical transgender specialized helicopter unit in US Army)

From the time I was in Middle School all I wanted to be was an Army Ranger. Not Special Forces, Delta Force, or a Navy SEAL -- a Ranger. That is why I am sitting on top of this mountain, less than a kilometer from a so-called neutral border getting ready to die. We've been tracking insurgents all along the border for weeks now and they set a trap we've walked into.

Now, if some cock-sucker would get off his ass and order in artillery and airstrikes over the border, I could slip out of here, but he's got his dick in his hand worrying about causing some kind of international incident. Instead I'm being told to 'hang in there' and help is on the way, but I know that is a lie.

Our relief force tried to punch their way to us a few hours ago and was stopped cold by the fire from across the border. I've got six men wounded now and it is only me and Specialist Dobson who are fully mobile. When dark comes in an hour, we won't be able to call in the artillery that is the only reason we are still alive, and then we get killed or captured.

I'm checking ammo when the call comes in.

"Ranger 337, this is Sierra Tango Eight, prepare for evac in three minutes," says this oddly passive voice. I'm Ranger 337 so I take some quick looks around to see what the hell is going on.

"Sierra Tango Eight, what is your vector?" I ask. "And where do you plan to land?"

"Vector: due west and there is a flat piece of rock ten meters from your designated position. We are landing there," the voice responds. I look over at the postage stamp sized area. WTF?

"We'll be ready," I say, because this is really the only option I have. I shout for Dobson to get ready for us to roll, the second something happens.

"Sierra Tango Eight be warned there is very heavy fire all around the area. Very Heavy Fire," I warn them.

"Understood," is the reply. Even as the link goes silent the mountainside begins exploding all around me. I duck down then I recognize the sound of the shells -- smoke. Dobson and I gather all the non-mobile wounded as close as we can to the landing zone and wait. It doesn't take long. I hear the helicopter storming up the valley and everything breaks loose.

I see an attack helicopter riding hell for leather straight up the valley just north of my position. Tracers lance all around it and the bird dances and shifts. I have only enough time to see the puff from over the border before spotting the SAM, then it hits the helicopter and it explodes into pieces. They didn't have a chance and I am feeling totally fucked.

The transport is on us before I hear it. The pilot whips over our heads, does a quick two-seventy and settles onto the small piece of rock. Two people jump out, one aiming to the back of the helicopter and firing a SAW, while the other one runs my way.

"Let's not hang around," the short newcomer yells over the whine of the engine.

He, Dobson, and I grab up our worse wounded and we drag, stagger and tumble our way to the craft. The guy with the SAW jumps on last and pulls me close.

"Is that everybody?" he shouts. I nod. He relays that message over his headset. The helicopter rocks off the stone they'd been sitting on and starts to slip off the mountain.

And I mean 'slip' because it doesn't feel like we're flying down the mountain slope; so much as we were falling down the mountain. I swear I feel us bounce off of rocks several times on our way down to the desert floor, as well as having the pleasure of dozens of bullets buzz by. Only when we flatten out do I feel like we are actually going to live. I go up to the pilot to thank him.

"Hey there," I begin, putting my hand on the Sergeant piloting us, "thanks for the save. Who are you guys with?"

"167th", the pilot says in an even tone. I pull my hand back. It is the fucking faggots. I don't consider myself to be a bigot, but some things are just not right and if you were born a man you were a man and the same went for women.

If the pilot notices he gives no indication.

"We are taking you straight to the hospital Sergeant. No worries," the pilot tells me. I say nothing for the longest time. I am uncomfortable as hell being so close to so many fucking perverts still ...

"That helicopter, the one that was destroyed, was that part of the plan to get us out?" I ask.

"Not the destroyed part, but yes, someone had to draw fire so we could get in and get you out," the pilot responds with no emotion. Man, all I can think is how cold these people are.

"Who were they?" I inquire.

"Lt. Clyde McDermott and Sgt. Rihanna Clarke; Lt. McDermott was our flight leader," he tells me.

"Oh," is all I can imagine saying. It isn't like that guy hadn't known the risks. The thing was, despite seeing that helicopter die, this pilot had come to my rescue anyway. That was totally fucked up.

"Thanks," I repeat somewhat lamely. Honestly I want off the helicopter as soon as possible.

"Never Fail," the pilot responds; the motto of the 167th.

Several hours later I come out of the medical center, when I see the four members of our rescue helicopter standing around their bird. My first instinct is to walk away but then everyone else seems to be avoiding them too. I sigh and decide to do my civic duty. I walk over. They are all wearing their helmets when I go over, undoubtedly listening to their unit chatter.

"Sergeant," the pilot greets me, his eyes unreadable behind the darkened visor. Now I can see that he has tits and they are apparently a nice, silicon rack.

"No one died. Everyone got back in time," I grudgingly tell him/her/whatever it is.

"That's good to know, thank you," the pilot says. I look at his/her name tag, then I notice he has some of the fullest lips I've ever seen, with rich creamy dark skin.

"Gleason?" I ask. "You don't look like a Gleason."

"Dad was in Panama and married a Panamanian woman," Gleason explains. "You?"

"Huh?" I wonder.

"Your name?" Gleason grins slightly as he puts a hand on his hip.

"Grizzoli, Ted Grizzoli," I reply somewhat embarrassed. It is strange to think that this is a guy.

"Well Sgt. Ted Grizzoli, you are welcome." With that I get the feeling I've been dismissed. Then I feel stupid. They lost two friends today keeping my friends alive. They are grieving. I'm not sure why, but I pull a photo out of my vest, step up and hand it to Gleason.

He looks at it then at me. I wish he didn't have his visor down because I really wish I could read his expression.

"My daughters," I explain as he looks down at my five and two year old girls. "I get to go home to them because of what you did today." It is lame but it is all I've got. Gleason nods and puts it away in his vest. We are done here.

(Two years later)

I'm in some East African hell hole because another country has gone down the crapper and the UN wants to do something about it. There is a bit of an insurgency problem so they sent us. Still, our plan seems to be working so we all see the mission winding down here in a month or two. Everyone is biding their time.

I'm crossing the compound with my company commander Bruce Isakson. Now Captain Isakson is all about initiative and innovation. He's a bit of a pirate if you ask me. Still, I'm with him when we collide with Major Hayes, our battalion Intelligence Officer, and Captain Fallon of the 167th combat wing stationed with us. Fallon, who is a girl who looks like a guy now, is really pissed.

"Major Hayes, some of my people got shot and stabbed in a marketplace in the southeastern part of the city. I need some of your people to help me get them out," Fallon begins without preamble.

"Whoa," Hayes says, "we are not going to start a firefight in the middle of a crowded city over a misunderstanding."

"Misunderstanding? Sir, they've been violently and physically assaulted. Their lives are in danger," Fallon responds with barely contained rage.

"It must be a religious misunderstanding due to the condition of your people. I'll call the Chief of Police and let him go in and disarm everyone and bring your people out," Hayes tells Fallon.

"Disarm? To the native police who can't even guarantee my people's protection now? The Sacred Band does not give up its weapons," Fallon growls.

"They will this time," Hayes announces. Fallon stares at him. "I'll deal with this through the proper channels," Hayes says dismissively. Fallon salutes and leaves. Whatever business has brought the Captain and me this way vanishes.

We catch up with Fallon half way across base, storming about like nobody's business.

"Fallon," the Captain calls out. "What are you planning to do?" Fallon stops and stares at us.

"Arm the ground crews, go in and get them," Fallon admits.

"How about my Rangers and I go out on a little training mission instead?" Isakson says with a maniac gleam in his eye. Fallon regards him intently then nods.

"Let's go in ten minutes. I'll gather what intelligence I can," Fallon answers. Once more the 167th officer goes his way and the Captain and I go ours.

"Sergeant, if you want to bail out on this I'll understand. Of all people you can't really claim ignorance," Isakson tells me.

"It is a training mission Sir, what could possibly go wrong?" I grin back. Right then I am feeling like a pirate too.

The plan was very basic and risky, but it is what elite light infantry are made for. We have three teams. The Captain would drop at the farthest street corner, and work his way back to the shop the targets were held up in. I would drop into the closer street corner, and hold that until the evacuation began. The third team would rope onto he top of the building and secure it from the top down.

Once that was done, we would collapse in to the building and take everyone off the roof until we were all gone. We had no idea on enemy strength, but since it was a civilian area we had to follow the rules of engagement -- no firing unless fired upon. If we ran into trouble we were pretty screwed; no one was on deck to come to our rescue.

When I climb into my helicopter I notice Gleason right off the bat. I reach up and touch him on the shoulder.

"Funny seeing you here," I say haughtily. Gleason turns slightly and nods. With that we take off and wing it over the city. I could swear I saw Hayes running out and waving his fist at us.

We come racing over to our target, and as we swing around Gleason waves for my attention. We are setting up our repelling gear so I make it quickly over to him.

"I can land in there," he tells me. I think he is insane but I nod. Dangling off a rope sucks.

"If you are sure," I gulp. I tell the guys to put the ropes down. We are going in boots first.

Honestly I think we are going to die on the way down. The buildings look so close I feel I can touch them, right up until we hit the hard-packed earth. Without urging from me, my men race out into the whirling dust storm whipped up by the rotors. Behind me Gleason edges right back up into the sky.

I make sure we have the four corners covered, and then race to the storefront where the friendlies are hiding. I am glad they don't come rushing out to meet us. That would be a nightmare. They open the door when I arrive, men and women looking at me with pretty grim faces. The mob here wouldn't just have killed them; they would have done much worse.

"Who is in charge here?" I bark.

"I am," a tall, athletic black woman-looking person with a pistol addresses me. "Lieutenant Teresa Ross."

"Okay, we are going to hold the perimeter. Your group is going to be escorted to the roof and evacuated," I detail the plan for her.

"No," she says calmly.

"No?" I stammer.

"We won't leave you behind," the lieutenant insists. I lose it.

"Lady, are you insane? I'm a Ranger; this is what I do. You fly helicopters and you aren't in one right now, so get your ass moving!"

She has the gall to smile at me. I am afraid I might hit a superior officer, when the Captain shows up. I outline the problem and he shrugs.

"Lieutenant, you will evacuate your wounded immediately, then choose two to stay behind for the last boat out of town -- acceptable?" he offers. The female officer agrees.

"Sir," I grumble to the Captain, "can you believe that crap?"

"Sergeant, elite is not only training, it is believing you are elite. In case you missed it, these twelve aviators beat off a mob of hundreds, with two pistols, an undoubtedly captured rifle, and wooden clubs. If they want to stay in my LZ to the bitter end, so be it."

I have no answer to that. Fortunately I don't have the time to hang around and look at their battered and bloody bodies. I have my men to attend to. The mob is getting frisky and a few shots go overhead as I make my way back to my team. Finally someone does the stupid thing of bouncing a bullet off one of my guy's helmets. We begin firing back.

The mob scatters, and the armed attackers have to stand their ground or go flee with them. Those who stick around we put bullets in. Like so much of combat, things go very, very fast or very, very slow. One second I've got fire coming from three directions and the next the Captain is telling me that the evacuation has begun and I'm to pull back.

There was no last stand at the Alamo. Once the locals see that we are pulling out; most of them decided to let us go. The diehards aren't enough to give us many problems. I climb aboard the last helicopter with the Captain, the hard-ass lieutenant and a few others. I look over and there is my Gleason.

"Home Gleason," I can't stop myself from saying. The Captain gives me a funny look but I shrug it off. Gleason's response is more subdued but then he was doing the flying. Getting home isn't too much fun though. Hayes blows a gasket. We were all going to get it, from the Captain to the lowliest Private.

He was somewhere in the middle of his tirade when the General walks in. Both the UN and the local authorities have already given him an earful. He doesn't say much. It turns out he didn't have to.

"Were some of my people in harm's way?" he asks the Major.

"Yes sir, but ..." the Major sputters.

"And your plan was to turn them over to the local authorities?" the General persists.

"Sir, we had to consider the UN Mandate," the Major answers.

"So your response was to let twelve of my people get slaughtered to appease locals and the UN?" the General growls.

"Sir, I was operating within our guidelines," the Major defends himself.

"Is that what they taught you at West Point, major?" the General snarls. "I don't think so. The Ranger patch is not a stepping stone to future advancement, it is a mindset. We take care of our own."

"They weren't Rangers," the Major blurts out.

"No Major, they are not. They rely on us to defend them so that they can save our asses when our asses need saving. We defend them and, major, you failed at that. Dismissed," the General barks. He turns to the 167th officer.

"Captain Fallon, if you need anything you know who to ask." Fallon salutes and exits.

Now the General turns his baleful gaze on me, the Captain, and the Ranger Lieutenant who had been on the third team.

"Don't go looking for any commendations on this one, damn you," he grumbles. "This was a damn foolish thing to do. Now get out of here." As we make to leave the old man adds, "Rangers lead the way." Quietly the three of us echo his sentiments.

(Present Day)

It has been a long deployment and I'm heading home to the West Coast on leave. My flight is one more in a long stretch of air miles I've put up in the past year, and I'm getting used to the fact that I am going to be safely in one place for a month. I find my gaze wandering over the passengers, because it seems forever since I've seen a woman in something besides battle dress.

Across the aisle and up one seat is a cute chick in a long plaid, pleated shirt and white blouse. She has shoulder length black hair and seems to be rocking out to her MP-3 player, which means she was probably too young for me. The waitress on the other hand is giving me some play, but I never seem to find the time to sneak off with her.

At the terminal I'm fighting for a cab when I bump into someone coming for the same ride. I'm about to tell them off, when I notice it is the cute girl from the plane. She has sunglasses on now but smiles at me.

"Share a ride?" I offer.

"Sure thing," she responds. "Where are you going?"

"North Lake," I tell her. "You?"

"Somerset," she replies. She has a pretty face with fine Hispanic features and full lips. We tell the cabbie where to go and are riding for about five minutes, when I snap my head round to her.

"Gleason!" I gasp. She smiles and nods.

"You ..." I continue.

"I look like a girl; is that what you are trying to say?" she grins devilishly.

"I guess you do," I mutter.

"Flight suits don't do much for my feminine side," Gleason laughs. "When I get off base I like to express myself," she informs me.

"I dress like I did in high school," I admit.

"Me too," she laughs. I can't help but be weirded out by all of this. I was hot for a guy. Worse, I was hot for a guy I'd gone to battle with and she was sexy. What am I thinking?

"Why weren't your wife and kids at the airport to meet you?" Gleason asks. Somehow I get the feeling she senses my awkwardness. The question doesn't help much.

"She took the kids to her folks in Missouri," I inform her. "We've been separated for over a year now."

"Sorry," Gleason responds warily. She'd meant well.

"Don't worry about it," I smile. "Deployments are hard on any marriage. I guess she had enough of me being gone for months at a time. I'm not bitter."

"That's a good attitude. You've always been a good soldier who takes care of his own. You are good at what you do," she responds.

"Not as good as you Gleason ..."

"Angel; Ted, call me Angel," she smirks.

"Fine, Angel, you are the best pilot I've ever seen. If you weren't, I'd be dead twice over," I praise her. Angel looks away and blushes

"Thank you for saying that," she murmurs.

"What about your family?" I ask.

"Mom and Dad live in Somerset. Dad is former Army who put in his twenty-five. Mom raised the five of us," she said wistfully.

"Five? Damn that's a good size family," I tease her. She looks a little sad.

"My oldest brother died in the Middle East while in the Marines. I'm the second oldest... so I joined up too. My oldest sister went to college and works somewhere in Atlanta. My younger sister is married in town and my youngest brother is still in high school," she tells me.

"Sorry about your brother; that's tough. Still, I imagine your parents are proud of you. The 167th is a hell of a unit," I counter.

"No, my parents don't know what I do. I told them I got a job as a personal assistant that requires me to travel a lot," Angel confesses.

"Why did you do that?" I say bewildered.

"Mom would freak out all the time knowing I was in the Army, and Dad never got used to me being different. He keeps hoping I'll change, and I don't stand up to that belief," she sighs.

"Anything I can do Sergeant?" I offer.

"No, we are good," she tells me. I sat silently in the cab for most of the ride. Once we pull into my street something occurs to me.

"Angel, you can take a cab, but would you like it if I drove you to your house?" and even as I speak those words, I am not sure why I do. She looks at me with obvious curiosity.

"Sure," she says as we stop in front of my house. We unload our luggage, I pay the driver and we go up to my house. It isn't much; a little two-bedroom bungalow with a hot tub in back. Putting my stuff in the living room, we go out to the garage and pull the cover off my convertible. Angel whistles.

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